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Philly creates tax LOOP

The city is giving property-tax breaks to longtime residents slapped with big increases this year.

THERE'S A NEW real-estate tax loophole for Philadelphians - and you don't need to be a millionaire to take advantage of it.

To limit the huge increases some residents are seeing under the Actual Value Initiative tax-reform effort, the city is launching the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, or LOOP.

"I do not create these acronyms, but I think this one is quite interesting," Mayor Nutter said while announcing the program yesterday with City Council members.

The program will benefit lower-income homeowners who have been in their homes for at least 10 years and saw their property assessments increase by 300 percent or more this year. For 10 years, LOOP participants will be taxed on no more than triple their old assessments.

Residents are asked to apply by Jan. 15, although Council President Darrell Clarke is working to have that deadline extended.

Applicants must meet a series of requirements, including being up to date on taxes and below a certain income level. Residents can go to to see if they're eligible.

Up to 80,000 properties may be eligible. The city budgeted $20 million to pay for the tax breaks in this year's budget.